Hamburg, Rickmer RickmersOn a visit to the northern German city of Hamburg, a great way to admire the Hamburg port – one of the world’s largest – is to climb aboard the 19th century sailing ship, the Rickmer Rickmers.

The Rickmer Rickmers was built in Bremen, in 1896. The three-masted sailing ship is 97 meters (318 feet) long and it served as a German freight ship for many years, travelling back and forth to Asia where it transported rice, bamboo and tea.

Hamburg, Rickmer RickmersI visited the ship with my children, who were fascinated to compare how the Rickmers carried its freight after having watched the modern ships with their containers being unloaded.

My kids also enjoyed exploring the engine room, the small cabins where the crew would sleep, the map room and the more elegant officers’ mess and quarters.

Hamburg, Rickmer RickmersFrom the deck, there was a good view over the harbor, and a view on all the modern freight ships arriving in Hamburg that provide a clear illustration about how much maritime trade has changed over the past century.

The Rickmer Rickmers had been comandeered by the Portuguese Navy in 1912, and through the 1960s served as a school ship for Portuguese cadets.

Its fortunate that Hamburg bought the ship back in the 1980s, fully restored it, and can now offer it to visitors as an example of what life was like on board for the young sailors at the turn of the 20th century.

For other tips on what to do in Hamburg, see my earlier posts on climbing the St Michaelis bell tower  and visiting the Planten un Blomen park .

Hamburg, Rickmer RickmersHamburg, Rickmer Rickmers